Archive for the ‘Seasonal’ Category

Jan
28

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

January 28th, 2014 by Rainbow International

Home Improvement Ideas for the New Year

Use our handy infographic to get yourself on track for keeping the New Year’s resolutions you made to your home for the 2014.  The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start thinking about home improvement ideas, or to finish up projects you have put off for a while.

Quick Tip #1:  Ditch the Clutter and Organize

If you haven’t worn an item in the past year, then it’s time to donate or sell.

Quick Tip #2:  Decorate!

If you can’t afford to renovate, decorate! Move art around in the house.

Quick Tip #3: Clean Your Fireplace

If you haven’t used your fireplace in the last year or more, schedule an inspection to ensure your fireplace is working properly and safely.

Quick Tip #4: Home Energy Audit

Contact a trusted professional auditor with Rainbow International® who can perform many different tests throughout your home to detect energy leaks.

Apr
9

How to Create an Allergy/Asthma-Friendly Environment Through Green Living

April 9th, 2013 by Rainbow International

You’re probably already aware of the many benefits that green living has for the environment. However, you might not often think about the many ways in which this lifestyle can really affect the human body. Consider these points, which posit that green living can actually help people to better deal with asthma and their allergies. It’s an intriguing school of thought, but also extremely beneficial!

Pollution from Cars
For the most serious of asthmatic patients, greeting a burst of pollution from a car might mean a trip to the hospital. Furthermore, seasonal allergens in the air can be increase through interaction with cars. Instead of going for that gas guzzler the next time you buy a car, choose one that is Eco-friendly. These types of cars get more miles per gallon of gas, so you don’t have to worry about polluting the environment quite as much. If you are able to encourage other people to do so too, you can really make a difference.

Organic Foods
People are really starting to question why individuals seem to have higher rates of allergies and asthma than ever before, and some believe that it’s due to genetically modified organisms found in foods or certain types of chemicals often used in the production of foods. By choosing organic foods, you can help eliminate these issues both on a personal level (by treating your body right) and global level (by decreasing demand for GMOs and non-organic food).

Choosing Green Cleaners
As you are spraying a bunch of cleaners around your house, you might think that you are doing a great favor to yourself or the environment. Instead, you are really polluting the very home you live in with unnecessary chemicals. Not only can these chemicals possibly contribute to allergies and asthma, they can be dangerous for your children and pets. Therefore, you should look for environmentally friendly cleaners in your local supermarket or other store to cut back on this risk. Many people actually choose to make their own cleaning supplies out of green ingredients you can buy at any grocery store. Thousands of frugal recipes exist depending on what and where you need to clean.

Alternative Medical Remedies
Another often-cited source of our problems is the chemicals, hormones and other substances that might get pumped into people when they go to the doctor. You should never jump head first into a new medical regimen, but choosing alternative medical remedies might be helpful to you. For example, some feel that exposure to mild allergens can actually help people to get over these allergies better than medicinal methods currently in use to treat allergies. However, it is really important that you avoid using any potentially dangerous methods, especially when it comes to your children. If you find an alternative remedy that sounds like it could be for you, talk to your doctor about it. If it’s a household change, be sure to ask about the effects on any elderly or children you have living with you, who have very different respiratory, immune and digestive systems.

Green living can certainly have a positive effect on the lives of people who suffer from allergies and/pr asthma. However, you can’t always guarantee that these methods will work, and it’s important to pick methods that are right for both you and your family. Think about the big picture when you are deciding what to do in terms of health, nutrition, comfort and finance.

Author Pam Johnson is a nurse who constantly stresses to her patients the importance of a natural lifestyle as a way to increase health, She is a contributing writer for the Associates Degree in Nursing Guide.

Apr
2

Spring Cleaning Starter List

April 2nd, 2013 by Rainbow International

When spring appears, so does the sunshine – and with that often it becomes obvious how unclean your house actually is. The sun filtering in seems to just bounce off the dust and grime.

If you are ready for a spring clean, you may find these tips useful in achieving an immaculate home. Make sure to play some lively, summer music to keep your spirits high.

  • Wash windows by using newspaper instead of paper towel or a cloth that may streak
  • Flip and rotate your mattress to keep wear and tear even on all sides. Now is a good opportunity to vacuum the mattress as well.
  • Wash curtains and wipe down all blinds
  • Pull everything out of your fridge to clean – and don’t forget to toss any condiments that have expired
  • Run the dishwasher through with no dishes to clean out the working parts
  • Dust before you vacuum or wash floors as the particles will settle on the ground
  • Wash all pillows and comforters/quilts to rid them of pollen and dust
  • Disinfect cutting boards and organize all cupboards holding dishes and pots and pan – recycle ones you never use
  • Steam clean all upholstery – if you are renting a machine do your car at the same time!
  • Wash or replace all indoor and outdoor mats
  • Unpack summer clothes and air them out. Use this opportunity to pack up winter clothes, and get rid of what you didn’t wear all season.
  • Pull out both the stove and fridge to vacuum and clean behind
  • Wash and repair all outdoor furniture
  • Clean your garbage disposal by running it with ice cubes and citrus peels inside
  • Make sure to have maintenance done on your air conditioner
  • Clean your mops, brooms and even garbage cans – prevent more mess from being pushed around your home

Once you are finished cleaning – remember to reward yourself with a nice glass of lemonade in your sparkling clean home!

Mar
22

World Water Day

March 22nd, 2013 by Rainbow International

Today is World Water Day! World Water Day began in 1993 to promote the importance of fresh water to those who live without it around the world. The event’s purpose is to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Beginning in 2003, the UN-Water has been responsible for selecting a yearly theme for World Water Day. This year, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, this day is dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water.

Take a moment today to see how you can get involved in World Water Day! Many communities hold events but even if your town is not, you can work with charities such as Charitywater.org, Givewell.org and Waterforpeople.org.

Mar
21

Six Expert Spring Cleaning Tips for a Tidy, Healthy Home

March 21st, 2013 by Rainbow International

It is spring, but along with the blooming of flowers and warmer weather comes the daunting task of spring cleaning. It’s time to open the windows and tackle those chores with these six tips from Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Rooter® and Rainbow International®.

Dishwasher
According to Mr. Appliance, a dishwasher can be cleaned using a small brush dipped in hot soapy water. With the brush, clean the grooves in the rubber seal by going around the door of the dishwasher. Then, place a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a normal cycle.

Refrigerator
Using a hand-held vacuum, remove the dust from coils underneath or on the backside of the fridge. Accumulated dust can cause the motor to overheat and increase the cost of running the appliance.

Sink
To achieve a fresh smelling sink, keep leftover citrus peels. Mr. Rooter recommends putting a cupful of ice cubes as well as citrus peels in the garbage disposal. Turn on cold water and then the disposal for 15 to 30 seconds. Then, turn off the disposal and continue to rinse with hot water for 15 seconds.

Windows
When washing windows, wipe vertically outside and horizontally inside, so any missed areas can quickly be spotted. Glass Doctor, suggests drying the windows as you go with a squeegee or a micro-fiber towel to avoid water spots.

Air Conditioner
Have your central air conditioning system inspected by a HVAC professional, like Aire Serv, before the summer hits. The air conditioner keeps your home cool and it dehumidifies to keep mold from growing inside the walls. Clean or replace air filters monthly to help the AC unit run more efficiently. Remove shrubs, grass and leaves from the condenser coil and within three feet of outside unit.

Rain Gutters
Although often forgotten, rain gutters are important for home defense against storms. According to Rainbow International, water from rain can erode soil around the foundation, splash dirt onto the siding and leak into the basement causing expensive damage.

Utilizing these simple tips in your spring cleaning arsenal can help save you time, frustration and money down the line. Not to mention, you can rest easy in a clean and healthy home.

Mar
15

Rainbow International Celebrates Female Business Owners for Women’s History Month – Tammy Kimble Finds Success in a Male-Dominated Industry

March 15th, 2013 by Rainbow International

One hundred years ago, more than 5,000 women marched on Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the gross misrepresentation of women in our society. Today, women are heralded as the leaders of tomorrow in education, business and politics. Rainbow International celebrates March and Women’s History Month by recognizing Tammy Kimble, owner of Rainbow International of Alamance County.

Kimble has been the proud owner of Rainbow International for nearly five years, achieving both personal and professional goals. “I think every business you go into is about how you build it and the relationships you build in the process. Every business is about the communication with customers and how you represent the business. Once you start listening to your customer or client, you’ll connect with them.”

Kimble has worked in multiple areas of business, from owning a carpet cleaning business to owning a daycare center. Kimble is an entrepreneur.

“Tammy is a rising star,” Rainbow International President Rob White said. “No matter the situation, she has risen to the challenge. We are proud to have her on our team.”

Women, like Kimble, who have embraced the opportunities afforded them and overcome the obstacles, are paving the path for future generations of women to proudly walk.

“Something I would share with young ladies trying to find their way in this industry is to take on everything you can,” Kimble said. “Learn. Get in every open door you can. Take everything with you into your next experience.”

Mar
6

Candle Soot Claims: Part One

March 6th, 2013 by Rainbow International

Insurance and commercial property management companies have noted an increase in claims due to black spot stains on ceilings, walls, furniture, contents and HVAC filters from previously unidentified sources. The mystery is solved though! The problem is referred to as “black soot deposition” (BSD) and, as research indicates, a common household decorative item frequently causes it.

There is no evidence of a sudden or accidental source for BSD, like malfunctioning furnaces, gas water heaters, cigarette smoke or cooking by-products. Until recently, there was little compelling evidence to assign proper blame for the source of BSD. Tests have confirmed, however, the primary culprits are very possibly decorative scented candles.

Low quality candles are often to blame

Research indicates increased BSD is often the result of candle manufacturers adding additional fragrance oils to their products, along with improper wick trimming by customers. Many fragrance oils are not suitable for combustion and do not burn cleanly. It also appears many amateur candle-makers have entered the expanding market to capitalize on the current popularity of candles without proper training or experience.  The outcome is an abundance of low-quality candles burning in many homes and a corresponding increase in the frequency of indoor soot deposits.

Potential dangers to structure and health

The number of aromatic candle manufacturers, professional and amateur, grows each year. Many companies introduce candles to their product line without the knowledge necessary to produce a safe and clean-burning product. According to J. David Krause’s thesis, “Characterization of Scented Candle Emissions and Associated Public Health Risks,” chemical testing provides conclusive evidence that emissions from some burning candles contain more than 20 volatile organic compounds, lead and a significant amount of carbon.

Burning scented candles inside homes, apartments and commercial buildings can present serious health hazards to those living and working there. It can also mean damage to ventilation systems, furnishings and contents. Evidence suggests breathing even one micron of soot can be hazardous. It has been determined that breathing particulate matter, 2.5 microns or smaller, is detrimental to human health, and these particles are dangerous because they are inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing irritation and respiratory problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Lung Association (ALA) says those most at risk include people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly.

Feb
26

How To Neutralize Skunk Odor

February 26th, 2013 by Rainbow International

Whew! What’s that smell? Is it you? No, can’t be. You smell like a skunk! Ever heard these words before? Hopefully you haven’t, but chances are you know at least one person that has or maybe you or your pet was sprayed. Regardless, you know how strong skunk odor is and just how difficult it is to get rid of.

You may never have a need for the following information; however, you might want to keep it around just in case.

Using tomato juice to remove skunk odor is an old wives’ tale that just does not work. Tomato juice only seems to work because at high doses of skunk spray the human nose quits smelling the odor (olfactory fatigue). When this happens, the tomato juice odor is the only detectable smell.

A person suffering olfactory fatigue to skunk spray will swear that the skunk odor is gone and was neutralized by the tomato juice. However, seek a second opinion! Asking someone else to take a whiff will readily confirm the tomato juice has not neutralized the skunk spray.

If your home has been skunked, or a pet has brought in the skunk smell, wash all sprayed clothes and fabrics immediately. The good news is that the odor will eventually go away, but may take several weeks.

To remove the scent, Rainbow International® Restoration and Cleaning recommends cleaning the area with a direct spray contamination containing a mixture of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (one quart) with ¼ cup baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap or dishwashing detergent if the affected area is durable and colorfast.

Treating fabrics with an additional mixture before your regular laundry detergent may help as well, and household cleaning sprays and products like Febreeze can be effective against skunk smell on furniture.

For buildings, decks, etc., we suggest using a solution of liquid laundry Clorox® bleach, 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water will work. CAUTION – THIS MAY BLEACH THE BUILDINGS, DECKS, ETC. Try it on a small area if bleaching may be a problem.

The bleach must come in contact with the spot where the secretion was sprayed, and repeated applications may be necessary for large amounts of skunk spray. It will not work for skunk spray that has drifted over a large area or is trapped in a house. Time and adequate ventilation will help in this case. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS ON PETS.

If home remedies aren’t working you might consider contacting a professional restoration firm that should be able to expedite the odor removal.

Feb
6

DIY Valentine’s Crafts and Treats for Kids

February 6th, 2013 by Rainbow International

We all know Valentine’s Day is a day devoted to your “special” someone, but it’s even more fun to get your kids involved in the holiday. This year, celebrate the day together as a family and help the kids make their own crafts, treats and special Valentine gifts.

Marshmallow love bugs that are almost too cute to eat! Just set out a few supplies and let them decorate their own critters. From The Decorated Cookie.

Make Valentine’s crayons by turning old crayons into heart molds! From Creative Mommas.

Let them make their own “fluffy” paint. From Kids on the Grand.


Make a perfectly mushy snack with X’s and O’s shaped Rice Krispies Treats!  From Real Simple.

You rock, Valentine! Grab the smoothest rocks you can find to make these awesome love rocks. From Color Me Katie.

Jan
24

Make it a Savory Super Bowl

January 24th, 2013 by Rainbow International

Planning a get together for this year’s Super Bowl? You better get your menu together quick because the big game will be here before we know it.

Let us help you out with a few ideas that are sure to be a big hit!

Jalapeno poppers with a twist! Buffalo chicken jalapeno poppers from CopyKat Recipes.

On the hunt for a healthier alternative? You can’t go wrong with baked crab cakes! From Sarah Fit.

Easy, quick and different. Throw together some barbecue popcorn! From iVillage

For a simple and yummy finger food, whip up these chorizo and shrimp quesadillas from Food Network.

What’s a Super Bowl without bacon? Find the way to the guys’ hearts with these bacon and cheese wrapped tator tots with Tabasco. From Recipe Girl.

 

You can’t go wrong with this spin on a classic comfort food: Loaded baked potato dip from Baked Bree.

Can’t forget about the wings: a Super Bowl staple.  Hooter’s hot wing recipe from Copy Kat Recipes.

Make it a Super Bowl to remember this year… even if you aren’t the world’s biggest football fan!